Censor fails to make young star's day

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The Independent Online
Eleven-year-old Mischa Barton is the youngest star at this year's London Film Festival, but the British child actress has been deemed too young to see the film premiere tonight. The film's producer Duncan Kenworthy, who also produced Four Weddings And A Funeral, has pleaded unsuccessfully for an exception to be made in Mischa's case. But he has been told there can be no exceptions as the film, Lawn Dogs, has a 15 certificate.

Mischa will go through the bizarre process of introducing the film at a West End cinema, hanging around outside with her mother while it is screened, then returning at the end for the applause.

Her mother, Nuala Barton, said yesterday: "She can understand the certification. The subject matter is very deep. Somebody is shot and there is a little bit of sexuality in the beginning, though not to do with the child."

She said that she had no qualms about Mischa's participation. "I chose the film because I thought it was a very good showpiece for her. It was well written and has been made very sensitively. At the same time it is not a movie for children. It is not something I would take her little sister to see."

The film tells of an innocent but misconstrued relationship between an imaginative girl and the man who mows the lawns.

Mischa has already done modelling work for Calvin Klein in New York, where she lives with her parents who emigrated there in 1990. She was spotted by a talent agent after taking a summer camp acting course three years ago.